Sunday marks the final home game for the Miami Dolphins, and it’s time to reflect on another playoff-less season. It’s been a decade of pain for the Dolphins, and fans are letting the city’s former favorite team know that year after year of losing football will turn its fan base into basketball enthusiasts. But there’s no need to be entirely pessimistic. The Phins have a young and talented, if not necessarily great, quarterback who made some huge gains this year. They have a great defense on paper, even though the cracks showed in execution. And fans can still say they can look forward to next year’s season, especially if an exciting receiver or two is brought onto the team. This year’s home-game series ends against another formerly great AFC East team, the Buffalo Bills. Remember Dan Marino’s fake spike? Or Brian Cox giving the bird to the fans in Buffalo? Though both teams are ready for this season to end, a great, lasting memory for the off-season would be beating up on an old rival.
Sun., Dec. 23, 1 p.m., 2012